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    • I'm thinking playing an instrument would probably lead to more creativity / creative thinking. Music also brings a certain amount of discipline to the mind as one has to play to certant time signatures and meters. I think that gives music the edge. Then again - being a 20 something 2+ times over might be clouding my judgement :-)

    • ...also motor skills are far more complex - lots of neural pathways get built. While that's true to an extent with video games, there's virtually no comparison between using a game controller and coordinating all the various parts of mastering a musical performance like touch and sound and integrating that with emotion.

    • I know a lot of teens and 20-somethings who passionately disagree. They say that was true about music before the invention of modern video games, but no longer. Video games help you with storytelling and solving mysteries, things music can't do.

      If we're only talking about reading music, then I think the 20 somethings are perhaps correct (depending on the music or the game, I suppose). When you read music, the universe in front of you has already been crafted and it's logic already thought out and vetted by someone else (hopefully). You just have to follow along and not fall off a cliff. This is an experience I think video games can compete with in terms of cognitive load. (This is not to diminish how hard it is to read music and execute it well).

      However, if we include the process of writing or composing music, I think the discussion changes. Writing music from scratch introduces a completely new set of challenges that reading music, or playing video games, don't tend to offer. Not only do you have to create your own universe, with its own set of rules and challenges, but you then have to solve those problems with harmony, melody, rhythm, textures, and in some cases, words or lyrics. I think this is a wholly different task than just reading music, and I don't think video games can offer anything close to this kind of challenge (yet).

      So if we include writing or composing music in the realm of "playing an instrument", I think it blows playing video games out of the water in terms of cognitive load. It's more similar to creating a video game from scratch and playing at the same time... which sounds really hard.

    • Better? Better for what? I play music, not games, but I play for the inherent reward music provides, not as means to some other end. I imagine gamers feel the same. Musical performance may show lots of brain activity on fMRI scans, but that doesn't say anything at all about its effects on other life activities.

    • I started the ukulele to avoid playing more games, it is story telling and problem solving just in a different format. It is new and has the result that I can display my new skills to others in a much easier translation than: watch me headshot this guy in the face after jumping in the air spinning 360 degrees without using the scope on my rifle.

    • I have a guitar on consignment and the owner of the shop and I were talking the other day. Really a great guy. We talked about how many Lennon’s, Cobains, Brian Wilson’s etc. we’re lost to the video game.

      I believe music should be as important as English class in school. It fires up a whole nother section of the brain and a creative one.

      And in the naked light I saw
      Ten thousand people, maybe more
      People talking without speaking
      People hearing without listening
      People writing songs that voices never share
      And no one dared
      Disturb the sound of silence “Fools” said I, you do not know
      Silence like a cancer grows
      Hear my words that I might teach you
      Take my arms that I might reach you
      But my words, like silent raindrops fell
      And echoed in the wells of silenceAnd the people bowed and prayed
      To the neon god they made
      And the sign flashed out its warning
      In the words that it was forming
      And the sign said, the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
      And tenement halls
      And whispered in the sounds of silence

      Edit, in case you want to feel the passsion the words can bring.